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Portable radio and cassette players are apt to be damaged more often than regular stereo and cassette systems, because they are transported around everywhere: on bike races, on long high school bus outings, and even are jammed in suitcases for long vacation getaways. And they can be expensive to repair—people often pay more to fix their portable radio or cassette players than it would cost to buy a new one. Here are some ways you can repair your portable radio or cassette player yourself without calling a repair man.

· Your personal cassette player doesn’t work. The problem more often than not is that the batteries are dead. Batteries in these portable players don’t tend to last more than eight or 10 hours. The other possible problems include: a dirty headphone plug (clean the plug and the jack), a broken headphone plug or jack (check the jack for broken connectors and resolder, if needed), and a bent battery contact (check inside the battery area to see if the contacts need to be manually molded into a proper position).
· The buttons on the player don’t work. Take apart your player and thoroughly clean the buttons. Then lubricate them with a lithium spray lubricant.
· The tape on your player moves but you can’t hear any sound. Check out the heads on the player. They might be dirty. If so, clean them with a head-cleaning tape. It may also be the case that it’s the buttons on the player that are at fault. Take apart the unit and clean the buttons.
· Your cassette player won’t record. Check the tape you’re recording onto. On every cassette tape, there’s a record tab. If that tab is missing, then you can’t record onto the tape. Put a small piece of tape over the tab area and try the tape again. If the tape is okay, check out the record button on the cassette player itself. Perhaps there’s something blocking the button from causing it to work properly. Clean the button.
· Your cassette player damages tapes you put in it. There are two possible problems. The first is that your take-up drive on the player is not working right. You should take apart the player. If it uses belts to move the tape, clean them with a clean cloth and alcohol. If any belts are broken, they need to be replaced. If the player uses gears to move the tape, look closely at the gears to find out if there are any broken gears or ones with unsharpened teeth. Those need to be replaced. The other possibility is that the spot where the tape goes into the rollers is dirty. You should clean the heads.
· Your CD player has a fuzzy sound. Either the CD you’re trying to play is dirty, or the laser lens on your player is dirty. Clean both.